1st Car Mechanic service experience

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ETadvisor
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1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by ETadvisor » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:00 pm

I always serviced my cars at dealerships and I always felt I was getting over charged. I have no interest for DIY car maintenance. I never knew of any reliable car mechanics so always used the car dealerships.

Finally today, with the referral and strong recommendation of a co-worker, I took my 110k mile 6 year old Honda Pilot to the mechanic. I was anxious as different atmosphere than I am accustomed with the dealership (this was assumed) and certainly not a place I would send the wife. However, it was not a horrible experience at all. The service was even much better from a time standpoint than the usual 1 - 2 hours at a dealership. Car needed oil change (which I knew), new air filter (did not know), and they serviced checked tires, etc. Total cost was $85. Prior to ordering new air filter, they showed me old one to prove it needed to be changed. Dealership never did this and I had to take their word for it. No surprises. No top offs of fluid as the dealer usually does to increase costs. I think this would have cost me $100 more at the dealership.

For those BHs like me, I would consider making the switch if you can find a reliable one.

Only Gripe: Charged me a service fee for use of the credit card. I have 3% cash back so not the worst outcome but I need to consider paying cash next visit.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:03 pm

Do the math on your cash back vs their cc fee.

Indeed, a good mechanic is a great resource to have. I mostly DIY but have a great, reasonably priced mechanic a couple miles from my house. Has saved me a few times when a job required something I don't have.....be it a tool or the knowledge of how to continue.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

HIinvestor
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by HIinvestor » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:05 pm

We routinely use private (not car dealer) mechanics and have had excellent results. We get better prices and they are very candid about when and what should be repaired in our vehicles. They don’t urge repairs just so they can make more $$$ and can easily explain what they recommend, the time frame and why they are making the recommendation.

Finding mechanics you trust and are a good match for you can be a process but is worthwhile imho.

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dm200
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by dm200 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:07 pm

HIinvestor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:05 pm
We routinely use private (not car dealer) mechanics and have had excellent results. We get better prices and they are very candid about when and what should be repaired in our vehicles. They don’t urge repairs just so they can make more $$$ and can easily explain what they recommend, the time frame and why they are making the recommendation.

Finding mechanics you trust and are a good match for you can be a process but is worthwhile imho.
We do as well. Local place is great and never does things not needed.

H-Town
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by H-Town » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:10 pm

ETadvisor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:00 pm
I always serviced my cars at dealerships and I always felt I was getting over charged. I have no interest for DIY car maintenance. I never knew of any reliable car mechanics so always used the car dealerships.

Finally today, with the referral and strong recommendation of a co-worker, I took my 110k mile 6 year old Honda Pilot to the mechanic. I was anxious as different atmosphere than I am accustomed with the dealership (this was assumed) and certainly not a place I would send the wife. However, it was not a horrible experience at all. The service was even much better from a time standpoint than the usual 1 - 2 hours at a dealership. Car needed oil change (which I knew), new air filter (did not know), and they serviced checked tires, etc. Total cost was $85. Prior to ordering new air filter, they showed me old one to prove it needed to be changed. Dealership never did this and I had to take their word for it. No surprises. No top offs of fluid as the dealer usually does to increase costs. I think this would have cost me $100 more at the dealership.

For those BHs like me, I would consider making the switch if you can find a reliable one.

Only Gripe: Charged me a service fee for use of the credit card. I have 3% cash back so not the worst outcome but I need to consider paying cash next visit.
$85? Ugh.

You could do the oil change for $25 and buy a new air filter for less than $10.

ETadvisor
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by ETadvisor » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:14 pm

thangngo wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:10 pm
ETadvisor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:00 pm
I always serviced my cars at dealerships and I always felt I was getting over charged. I have no interest for DIY car maintenance. I never knew of any reliable car mechanics so always used the car dealerships.

Finally today, with the referral and strong recommendation of a co-worker, I took my 110k mile 6 year old Honda Pilot to the mechanic. I was anxious as different atmosphere than I am accustomed with the dealership (this was assumed) and certainly not a place I would send the wife. However, it was not a horrible experience at all. The service was even much better from a time standpoint than the usual 1 - 2 hours at a dealership. Car needed oil change (which I knew), new air filter (did not know), and they serviced checked tires, etc. Total cost was $85. Prior to ordering new air filter, they showed me old one to prove it needed to be changed. Dealership never did this and I had to take their word for it. No surprises. No top offs of fluid as the dealer usually does to increase costs. I think this would have cost me $100 more at the dealership.

For those BHs like me, I would consider making the switch if you can find a reliable one.

Only Gripe: Charged me a service fee for use of the credit card. I have 3% cash back so not the worst outcome but I need to consider paying cash next visit.
$85? Ugh.

You could do the oil change for $25 and buy a new air filter for less than $10.
The oil change was $29 and new engine air filter $25. Rest was labor. I know if DIY it would be less but I am not willing/wanting to.
Last edited by ETadvisor on Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

onourway
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by onourway » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:18 pm

thangngo wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:10 pm

$85? Ugh.

You could do the oil change for $25 and buy a new air filter for less than $10.
Oh geez. I do this kind of stuff myself but can realize that many people don't have the space or inclination to do so.

To add to your $25:

- Trip to the store to buy everything. Need ramps, oil filter wrench, oil and filter, container to collect old oil. Total cost; at least $85.

- Time to do the job - 30 minutes for a first timer - minimum.

- Now need a second trip to the store to recycle the used oil. Some oil will likely spill in the process which many people won't appreciate in the trunk of their car.

$85 for an oil change and air filter is no bargain (unless they used synthetic oil), but it ain't bad from a time/effort standpoint either.

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KlingKlang
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by KlingKlang » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:28 pm

ETadvisor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:14 pm
thangngo wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:10 pm
ETadvisor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:00 pm
I always serviced my cars at dealerships and I always felt I was getting over charged. I have no interest for DIY car maintenance. I never knew of any reliable car mechanics so always used the car dealerships.

Finally today, with the referral and strong recommendation of a co-worker, I took my 110k mile 6 year old Honda Pilot to the mechanic. ...

Only Gripe: Charged me a service fee for use of the credit card. I have 3% cash back so not the worst outcome but I need to consider paying cash next visit.
$85? Ugh.

You could do the oil change for $25 and buy a new air filter for less than $10.
The oil change was $29 and new air filter $25. Rest was labor. I know if DIY it would be less but I am not willing/wanting to.
I agree that the service fee and the $85 sounds a little high, but it may depend on your location. Having a reliable mechanic do a through check of your vehicle can be priceless.

I get my car serviced (tomorrow in fact) at a mechanic that also doubles as an independent tire store. Good deals on tires, plus they will inflate, rotate, and repair tires purchased from them for free for the life of the tires.

CedarWaxWing
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by CedarWaxWing » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:46 pm

To get fair priced car maintanence:

1. Get the good refs for the shop. Personal references from acquaintances which are confirmed by online reviews that are verified if possible.
2. Understand your car. Having done your own work for a few years is a great way to get a good foundation in that regard, but even without that if you read and look up things on some really good online sources, including You Tube video there is a lot of pretty good info that can be confirmed and cross checked.

3. Beware of strange suggestions... i.e. flushing your fuel system when nothing is having any issues. Go online and look for evidence that certain things are or are not recommended by the SAE (society of automotive engineers) AND the manufacturer. If the dealer says ... "we always recommend that XXX service" and it is not recommended by either SAE, the manufactures, or any other source with the credentials to be authoritative on the subject and also has no conflict of interest in that regard, ask WHY do you recommend that. They need a reason, and hopefully a resource that is neutral to the profit involved.

After years of going to a place I have had a couple of strange recommendations that I turned down. I suspect that a new product or a new tool to make it quick and easy to do a nonsense service item is sold to them as a high profit item, and that sale depends on the coaching in regards as to how to get people to go for such nonsense.

4. When in doubt... can a knowledgeable friend who likes sorting out such things... it is a good survival tool to tune up your BS sniffer in regards to cars, furnace services, carpeting, house painting, you name it... and some people like helping out their friends because it also helps the helper to do the work on such a thing. (Like Boglehead.org there are also unknown friends with expertise on other sites who enjoy sharing their knowledge.)

5. In most towns a dealer is not the best place to get more auto service done. Sometimes recalls need to be done there, but very little else.

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tyrion
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by tyrion » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:47 pm

onourway wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:18 pm
thangngo wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:10 pm

$85? Ugh.

You could do the oil change for $25 and buy a new air filter for less than $10.
Oh geez. I do this kind of stuff myself but can realize that many people don't have the space or inclination to do so.

To add to your $25:

- Trip to the store to buy everything. Need ramps, oil filter wrench, oil and filter, container to collect old oil. Total cost; at least $85.

- Time to do the job - 30 minutes for a first timer - minimum.

- Now need a second trip to the store to recycle the used oil. Some oil will likely spill in the process which many people won't appreciate in the trunk of their car.

$85 for an oil change and air filter is no bargain (unless they used synthetic oil), but it ain't bad from a time/effort standpoint either.
Totally agree on the hassles of oil changes. However I always decline the cabin/engine air filters and do them myself. Those are a 5 minute job and you can order the part on amazon. With my Amex BCP card and grocery store amazon gift cards I save another 6%.

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djpeteski
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by djpeteski » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:54 pm

For the record, the last dealership experience I had was a nightmare. They attempted to take advantage of my wife, and assumed she had no knowledge of cars. They even yelled at her at one point. To top this all of she made it an appointment and brought it in when they said. 48 hours later no work was done on the car. After another 24 only 1 of the three items was done and they changed the oil. She asked them, specifically, not to change the oil.

We only use private mechanics but this was warranty work.

neilpilot
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by neilpilot » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:55 pm

tyrion wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:47 pm

However I always decline the cabin/engine air filters and do them myself. Those are a 5 minute job and you can order the part on amazon.
Sometimes a lot more than 5 minutes. In one of my cars you need to drop the glove compartment to get to the cabin filter. In my older BMW 5-series, it took me almost an hour to extract the cabin filter.

OTOH I can change the engine oil and filter in both of my current cars standing up, without getting under the car.

I do quite a bit of DIY, but that's obviously not for the OP. In my opinion it sounds like he was charged a fair price. Especially when I think of all those owners who continue to go to their dealer, after the warranty has expired, for things like oil changes and tire rotation.

PVW
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by PVW » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:59 pm

I get my car serviced at the dealership. I feel I'm getting over charged and under serviced. I recently bought a new make of car so I've switched dealerships. So far I've gotten adequate service (but still overcharged), but that only includes 2 oil changes and a warranty repair on a burnt out tail light.

On the last visit to my previous dealership, I had my car in for an oil change and state inspections (which required 2 new tires to pass). They unexpectedly took 2 days to complete the work, I couldn't get a call back from my service rep., and one of the new tires had 12 psi when I picked it up. If I hadn't noticed the low tire (on the passenger side) when they pulled it out of the garage for me it might have been ruined by the time I got to work.

daheld
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by daheld » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:01 pm

Dealerships are the worst. Invest the time to find a reputable local dealer and get to know them. It will pay off.

Also, totally understand not wanting to DIY car stuff. But seriously, buy an air filter and change it yourself. Same goes for the cabin filter. You can change both in literally 2 minutes and spend no more than half the price.

researcher
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by researcher » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:11 pm

onourway wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:18 pm
To add to your $25:
- Trip to the store to buy everything. Need ramps, oil filter wrench, oil and filter, container to collect old oil. Total cost; at least $85.
- Time to do the job - 30 minutes for a first timer - minimum.
- Now need a second trip to the store to recycle the used oil. Some oil will likely spill in the process which many people won't appreciate in the trunk of their car.
Do you apply this same rationale when deciding whether to cook at home or eat out?

- Trip to the grocery to buy everything. Need plates, silverware, pots, pans, stove, microwave, refrigerator to complete the task.
- Time to do the cooking.
- Trip to the trash can to get rid of waste. May spill trash or cooking oil on the floor in the process.

If the OP has no motivation to do the service himself, that's fine, but these seem like odd/silly arguments against DIY.

onourway
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by onourway » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:15 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:11 pm
Do you apply this same rationale when deciding whether to cook at home or eat out?

- Trip to the grocery to buy everything. Need plates, silverware, pots, pans, stove, microwave, refrigerator to complete the task.
- Time to do the cooking.
- Trip to the trash can to get rid of waste. May spill trash or cooking oil on the floor in the process.

If the OP has no motivation to do the service himself, that's fine, but these seem like odd/silly arguments against DIY.
Our family eats 3x per day.

A car needs an oil change once per year.

If one spends an extra $60 once per year on an oil change vs. DIY it will have no financial impact.

The cost of eating out 3x per day vs cooking at home is likely thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars annually - enough to have a serious financial impact - not to mention the negative health impacts.

Further, grocery shopping happens once per week. The rest of the time the actual time to cook/eat/clean at home is actually *less* than the time to go out to a restaurant.

whomever
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by whomever » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:21 pm

"To add to your $25:
- Trip to the store to buy everything. Need ramps, oil filter wrench, oil and filter, container to collect old oil. Total cost; at least $85."

I usually use things like floor jacks, etc more than once :-). And I keep oil and filters at home, so no special trip required.

"- Time to do the job - 30 minutes for a first timer - minimum."

OK. But from the OP: "The service was even much better from a time standpoint than the usual 1 - 2 hours at a dealership.". So it's 30 min total at a time of my choosing vs. a round trip to the mechanic plus waiting while they work, during business hours. It's going to be a pretty fast, close mechanic to keep my door to door time under 30 min.

"- Now need a second trip to the store to recycle the used oil. Some oil will likely spill in the process which many people won't appreciate in the trunk of their car."

FWIW a few decades ago I bought a 5 gallon gas can for used oil. When it starts to get full I'll drop by the auto parts place to dump it, when I'm going by on some other errand anyway. That's a good time to get a couple of new filters as well :-). I don't really see the spill any, but If I'm taking the car instead of the truck setting an old newspaper under the container stops any garage floor dirt from getting on the trunk carpet.

There's nothing wrong with just not liking to DIY routine car maintenance, but it only takes more time if you do it really inefficiently. It's like saying "Make my own coffee? No way - I'd have to go buy a coffee pot for $25, and make a trip to the store to buy the cup and coffee, then brew it, then I'd have to take the grounds to the dump - that's 2 hours and $30 in expenses; it's cheaper to drive to Starbucks and get a cup for $5". That's all true, if you do it that way, but lots of people manage to optimize the process quite a bit.

"A car needs an oil change once per year.
If one spends an extra $60 once per year on an oil change vs. DIY it will have no financial impact."

Fair enough. But it does mean taking an hour or two of my time - at a time convenient to the mechanic - vs 30 min at a time convenient to me. I just don't get it. There's nothing wrong with saying 'I don't like to change oil'. But trying to portray DIY oil changes as a big hassle doesn't ring true to people who do them routinely.

onourway
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by onourway » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:26 pm

whomever wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:21 pm
Fair enough. But it does mean taking an hour or two of my time - at a time convenient to the mechanic - vs 30 min at a time convenient to me. I just don't get it. There's nothing wrong with saying 'I don't like to change oil'. But trying to portray DIY oil changes as a big hassle doesn't ring true to people who do them routinely.
I do our oil changes. For 4 vehicles.

There are plenty of things in life for which DIY makes sense. Oil changes are not one of them for a person who owns 1 car, doesn't own any tools, and has no inclination to do so. The pay-back just isn't there.

And I completely agree about the time it takes to take a car to a mechanic - that's why one of my prime considerations in choosing one is finding one that is convenient to me. I then walk to work and walk back to pick it up afterwards. Given that basically any vehicle will need to be in the shop for some other reason more than once per year, at which time the oil could be changed, I don't think you can generally ascribe too much waiting time as specific to the oil change alone.

researcher
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by researcher » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:27 pm

ETadvisor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:00 pm
Car needed oil change (which I knew), new air filter (did not know), and they serviced checked tires, etc.
Prior to ordering new air filter, they showed me old one to prove it needed to be changed.
It is perfectly understandable if you don't have the desire to do your own car maintenance.
However, there is no excuse for not knowing the manufacturer maintenance/service schedule for your vehicle.
Your Honda Pilot has a system that alerts you when maintenance is needed and what needs to be serviced.

If you followed the maintenance schedule for your car, you would know if/when your air filter needs to be replaced.
And don't be fooled by the "they showed me the old filter" trick.
It is widely known that some mechanics will show you a previously used/discarded filter, claiming it is yours and needs replaced.

FRANK2009
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by FRANK2009 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:45 pm

Lots of good suggestions in this thread. I've always felt that even if don't want to do the work or can't, at least know what needs to be done. If you like and trust your new mechanic, give him as much of your business as you can.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:04 pm

daheld wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:01 pm
Dealerships are the worst. Invest the time to find a reputable local dealer and get to know them. It will pay off.

Also, totally understand not wanting to DIY car stuff. But seriously, buy an air filter and change it yourself. Same goes for the cabin filter. You can change both in literally 2 minutes and spend no more than half the price.
Completely agree about the air filter. For many (most ?) vehicles, it is simply a matter of undoing a couple of snaps or removing a couple of screws.

Disagree about the cabin filter in some cases. I'm not familiar with Hondas', but the cabin filters I have done on our vehicles have ranged from very simple to a "what were they thinking?" level of difficulty. We continue to change our own, but for one vehicle I am seriously contemplating letting the dealership to it when it is due again.

I don't do oil changes (except on my lawnmower) even though I easily could. Some things are worth paying a reasonable price to have someone else do it for you.

I would suggest that OP look on YouTube for a video of how to change the air filter and cabin air filter for his particular vehicle. Then he can make a completely informed decision about whether to do it himself.

harrington
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by harrington » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:47 pm

We have a dealership that does filter and oil changes in my area for $15.00. Man I can't even buy the filter and oil for that.

ETadvisor
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by ETadvisor » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:25 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:27 pm


If you followed the maintenance schedule for your car, you would know if/when your air filter needs to be replaced.
And don't be fooled by the "they showed me the old filter" trick.

It is widely known that some mechanics will show you a previously used/discarded filter, claiming it is yours and needs replaced.
Wow that would be shady and I would never return to such a mechanic. I checked the manufacturer maintenance schedule and a new engine air filter replacement was possible at my car's mileage.

ETadvisor
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by ETadvisor » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:35 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:55 pm
I do quite a bit of DIY, but that's obviously not for the OP. In my opinion it sounds like he was charged a fair price. Especially when I think of all those owners who continue to go to their dealer, after the warranty has expired, for things like oil changes and tire rotation.
Neilpilot

Thank you for your feedback :sharebeer
Last edited by ETadvisor on Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ETadvisor
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by ETadvisor » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:44 pm

PVW wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:59 pm
I get my car serviced at the dealership. I feel I'm getting over charged and under serviced. I recently bought a new make of car so I've switched dealerships. So far I've gotten adequate service (but still overcharged), but that only includes 2 oil changes and a warranty repair on a burnt out tail light.

On the last visit to my previous dealership, I had my car in for an oil change and state inspections (which required 2 new tires to pass). They unexpectedly took 2 days to complete the work, I couldn't get a call back from my service rep., and one of the new tires had 12 psi when I picked it up. If I hadn't noticed the low tire (on the passenger side) when they pulled it out of the garage for me it might have been ruined by the time I got to work.
PVW:
You are my target audience.
Take the leap like I did.

ssquared87
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by ssquared87 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:16 pm

Oil changes aren't that expensive at the dealer if you have coupons.

My girlfriend needed an oil change on her Accord so I went out and spent $35 on oil and an oil filter. A day later she got a coupon from Honda for a $24.95 oil change.

She took it to the dealer and we saved the oil I bought for when we don't have a coupon to use.

The air filters are generally easy depending on the car. On the Accord, you just drop the glove box using some tabs. No tools needed took 5 minutes at most. In my older BMW, its under the hood and requires removing about 6 screws. That one took 10 minutes.

$80 seems steep unless they're using synthetic oil.

researcher
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by researcher » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:04 am

ETadvisor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:25 pm
Wow that would be shady and I would never return to such a mechanic. I checked the manufacturer maintenance schedule and a new engine air filter replacement was possible at my car's mileage.
The problem is, you would never know, unless you are hovering over the mechanic as he services your car.
In fact, the mechanic that just replaced your air filter could have pulled that trick, and you would be none the wiser.

Swansea
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by Swansea » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:16 am

While I have used both dealer and independents, both can have issues. The service advisor at the dealership did not under stand my car's condition based service, so told me spark plugs needed to be changed. The car had 22K miles at the time. A tech pulled a plug at my request, and it was fine. The interval recommended is 45K for my car.
You need to be wary wherever your vehicle is serviced. A mechanic I used for a long time was charging me for full synthetic oil, but putting a blend in my car. I found out when I asked him for the brand of oil so I could keep a spare quart on hand.

neilpilot
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:21 am

researcher wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:04 am
ETadvisor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:25 pm
Wow that would be shady and I would never return to such a mechanic. I checked the manufacturer maintenance schedule and a new engine air filter replacement was possible at my car's mileage.
The problem is, you would never know, unless you are hovering over the mechanic as he services your car.
In fact, the mechanic that just replaced your air filter could have pulled that trick, and you would be none the wiser.
Back in the 70s when I lived in Buffalo I took my car to a mechanic for the NY state inspection. He presented me with a bill for inspection that included the cost of new wiper blades. Since I had recently installed new blades, I asked him for my old blades back. He then handed me a package off the rack where he had apparently put my "old" blades into the empty package, presumably planning to sell them to the next unsuspecting customer.

mmmodem
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by mmmodem » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:40 am

ETadvisor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:35 pm
neilpilot wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:55 pm
I do quite a bit of DIY, but that's obviously not for the OP. In my opinion it sounds like he was charged a fair price. Especially when I think of all those owners who continue to go to their dealer, after the warranty has expired, for things like oil changes and tire rotation.
Neilpilot

Thank you for your feedback :sharebeer
Ditto above.
I do routine maintenance myself on my cars. I've been doing it since I was 16. I stopped for awhile when I moved out of my parents home and no longer had tools. Regular dino oil changes were $20-$25 anyway, so I see no point in doing it myself. Synthetic oil changes ballooned to $70 plus tax and the air filter was not included. I gladly paid it. Material costs would be $30-$35 for synthetic oil and the oil filter. $70 seemed like a bargain to me not having to get dirty and deal with the hassle of recycling.

It was when they started charging me $100 that I said, I think $65 is worth it to do myself. Call me slow if you like, but 30 minutes is the absolute fastest I've ever done an oil change. It takes 10 minutes just to drain the oil.

dbr
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by dbr » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:26 am

The fraction of our spending that goes to maintenance and operation of vehicles is so small as to be negligible. The delta on whether or not I do it myself is below negligible. The delta on what gas mileage we get is below negligible. These facts were so even when we had to drive cars to get to work. The disclaimer is that we have always had access to trustworthy mechanics.

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jharkin
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by jharkin » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:05 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:03 pm
Do the math on your cash back vs their cc fee.

Indeed, a good mechanic is a great resource to have. I mostly DIY but have a great, reasonably priced mechanic a couple miles from my house. Has saved me a few times when a job required something I don't have.....be it a tool or the knowledge of how to continue.
+1. Often the work at a good independents is of better quality as well.... Dealers hire lots of brand new techs, who then go on to indie shops once they have some experience. For stuff that requires specialized brand specific knowledge or dealer only diagnostic tools (like some major engine work on imports) a dealer may be the better choice, but for most run of the mill work like brake jobs indies tend to be both cheaper AND better.


And +2 for those of us who DIY :beer

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bottlecap
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by bottlecap » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:34 pm

When you can get an oil change for $30 and in a half hour, there’s no need to change it yourself. I still do, but ain’t gonna fault anyone else for not going that far.

On many cars, though, the air filter is something the owner can do for 1/2 or 1/3 the price. Worth looking into for many.

I will never take a vehicle to a dealer unless it’s for something that is covered under warranty or my mechanic can’t do it or recommend someone else. There’s no reason to.

I am curious, though. What is it about the place that you “certainly wouldn’t send the wife?” Was it a prison shop?!?

JT

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dm200
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by dm200 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:54 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:21 am
researcher wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:04 am
ETadvisor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:25 pm
Wow that would be shady and I would never return to such a mechanic. I checked the manufacturer maintenance schedule and a new engine air filter replacement was possible at my car's mileage.
The problem is, you would never know, unless you are hovering over the mechanic as he services your car.
In fact, the mechanic that just replaced your air filter could have pulled that trick, and you would be none the wiser.
Back in the 70s when I lived in Buffalo I took my car to a mechanic for the NY state inspection. He presented me with a bill for inspection that included the cost of new wiper blades. Since I had recently installed new blades, I asked him for my old blades back. He then handed me a package off the rack where he had apparently put my "old" blades into the empty package, presumably planning to sell them to the next unsuspecting customer.
When I lived in NY State many decades ago, there was always something that needed to be done to pass inspection. The most common thing was to adjust headlights.

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dm200
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by dm200 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:56 pm

harrington wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:47 pm
We have a dealership that does filter and oil changes in my area for $15.00. Man I can't even buy the filter and oil for that.
True -- except I suspect that the dealership will always "find" a list of problems (many, many hundreds of dollars) that need to be immediately done.

My wife took our cars to a place (not a dealership) for a bargain oil/filter change (two different cars) and each one had "must do" list of several thousand dollars each.

audioaxes
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by audioaxes » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:22 pm

From what I seen dealerships seemed to have stepped up their game on competitive oil change prices.

z91
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by z91 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:38 pm

A place near me charges $39 to do oil/filter change. I used to do it myself all the time but hated getting dirty and no longer have a garage, so I'd have to do it in a parking lot or the side of a street.

I love this place as it's a drive through, and they have cameras underneath the car and pointed at your hood. They start work and you can watch them do everything, to ensure the work is done properly. I hand them my card and drive out in about ten minutes. All fluids topped, tires inflated and I get a general bill of health.

They do other jobs too (air filters, brake pads/rotors, transmission fluid), but don't push it on you. They will tell you if somethings off and to get it done "soon" but never force it. Most of these you have to ask for based on your vehicle's schedule.

researcher
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by researcher » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:21 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:34 pm
When you can get an oil change for $30 and in a half hour, there’s no need to change it yourself.
This is absolutely incorrect. There is one key reason for changing it yourself in this scenario...to ensure it is done correctly.

Most places offering $30 / 30 min oil changes are using the lowest knuckle-dragging employees to do the job.
These people could care less about your car or doing a clean/thorough/professional job.

In my brief experience with these types places, I've had the following happen...
- They removed the radiator cap and didn't put it back on, resulting in antifreeze/steam spewing from my car a few miles down the road
- Discovered a pool of oil under my car following an oil change (x2) - they claimed plug wasn't tightened enough
- Discovered a pool of oil under my car following an oil change - they claimed plug was over-tightened/stripped
- Had them relentlessly attempt to upsell me on unnecessary/overpriced service

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SanityCheck
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by SanityCheck » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:29 pm

Synthetic Oil/Filter change at local Honda Dealer $34.95 (with coupon). Includes top off of all fluids and a car wash......can't beat that price ! Any other service I go to my local independent mechanic.

researcher
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by researcher » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:38 pm

SanityCheck wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:29 pm
Synthetic Oil/Filter change at local Honda Dealer $34.95 (with coupon). Includes top off of all fluids and a car wash......can't beat that price ! Any other service I go to my local independent mechanic.
Out of curiosity, how much time do you spend at the dealership for this $35 oil change?

My BIL got "free" oil changes for life with the purchase of his new car.
He drove 45 minutes each way to get to the dealership, then ~2 hours in the waiting room, wasting half of his Saturday.

neilpilot
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:51 pm

researcher wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:21 pm
bottlecap wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:34 pm
When you can get an oil change for $30 and in a half hour, there’s no need to change it yourself.
This is absolutely incorrect. There is one key reason for changing it yourself in this scenario...to ensure it is done correctly.

Most places offering $30 / 30 min oil changes are using the lowest knuckle-dragging employees to do the job.
These people could care less about your car or doing a clean/thorough/professional job.

In my brief experience with these types places, I've had the following happen...
- They removed the radiator cap and didn't put it back on, resulting in antifreeze/steam spewing from my car a few miles down the road
- Discovered a pool of oil under my car following an oil change (x2) - they claimed plug wasn't tightened enough
- Discovered a pool of oil under my car following an oil change - they claimed plug was over-tightened/stripped
- Had them relentlessly attempt to upsell me on unnecessary/overpriced service
Better than what a major oil change company did to my friends car. They drained the transmission fluid, and then filled his engine case brim full of oil. He drove about 13 miles before his tranny locked up. At least the chain eventually paid for his repairs.

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StevieG72
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Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Post by StevieG72 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:35 pm

I can do it myself, but leave the simple stuff to the dealer.

That is not a bad price if synthetic oil, or even semi-synthetic oil was used.

I recently took about 15 large containers of used oil to the auto parts store, not a pleasant task. Of course this oil had accumulated for over many years.

Current vehicle requires oil change every 10,000 miles. I will gladly pay the dealer to do this work.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

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